ATG President/Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee Speaks at 2012 SMU Meadows Commencement

ATG President/Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee was honored to be invited to speak at the recent SMU Meadows School of the Arts Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 12th and welcome new graduates on behalf of the Meadows Alumni.

Congratulations to all SMU Meadows Graduates and Arts Graduates nationwide! Read or watch Tammy’s welcome remarks below:

Meadows Dean Jose Bowen with ATG President and SMU Alum Tammy Nguyen Lee (B.A.' 00 Film & Media Arts)

Congratulations, Graduates!….yes, I said GRADUATES! Let’s let that sink in for a moment. Feels good, right?

This is a special day, for you, for your friends, for your family. It represents the culmination of three, four, perhaps even five or more years of hard work, dedication, sacrifice, long days and nights of  blood, sweat and tears.

Some of you may be the first in your family to follow this path. Some of you may be joining a tradition. Whichever the case, your unique journey lies ahead, and it is YOURS to make and YOURS to take.

This is a day of endings and beginnings. As I think back on what this day meant to me over a decade ago as an aspiring filmmaker, I’m sure many of you are feeling an assortment of emotions — happiness, excitement, relief, nervousness and anticipation. There are few moments in life that are quite like this, so cherish  it.

One of the most important investments you have made in your education here at SMU is the network of people you have met. The relationships you have made will help support and propel you to new heights.  From this day forward, you join the Meadows Alumni Community, an elite group of artists. These are some of the most influential communicators, trendsetters, thought provokers, movers and shakers, leaders.  We are thrilled to have you a part of our family.

I cannot tell you how important this community has become to me. They are your future colleagues, bosses, and team members. Beyond letters of recommendation, from personal experience, I can affirm that they provide you the emotional, intellectual and artistic support that is second only to that of your own family. This is your SMU family that will look out for you, fight for you, share disappointments with you, lift you up and celebrate you.

When you picked up your diploma in the Hope Lobby, you were given a small gift from all Meadows Alumni to you- a holder for business cards.  When you find your calling and put it on a card, you will always have those cards with you.  You can also collect the cards of others who will want to invest in your journey.

Inside are several very important pieces of information on how to stay connected with the school and Meadows Alumni. One is a card with information on creating a legacy SMU email so we can always get in touch with you! Each day, you are creating your legacy. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tammy with SMU Film & Media Arts Professor Carolyn Macartney and Division Chair Sean Griffin

Be proud of being a Meadows alum. Stay in touch with us. Let us know about the accomplishments you’ve achieved. We want to share these milestones with you, celebrate you.  Let us know when you need help.  Our job doesn’t end here. It is to nurture you and make our community even stronger. We are a network available to you and we look forward to being in touch. One day, when you make it big, you will have “people.” Well, from the beginning, for now, and for always, WE are your people.

You have a special message to share, so make sure the world hears you, sees you, feels your spirit. I challenge you. Each and every day,  move closer towards your goals and dreams.  You have studied, you have trained. Practice time is over.  You are now officially a SMU Meadows Alum.

Congratulations, again, GRADUATES! Now, as Dean Bowen commanded you, go start a movement!

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